I am a self confessed pouch muma. This time around with weaning Jenson I have relied so heavily on feeding him pouches not only because they’re ever so convenient but because the ones that we use are 100% organic, healthy and delicious – all round winners! I do of course give Jenson finger foods and if I’m cooking a meal from scratch that’s suitable for him then I’ll feed him that but for the most part, his lunches and dinners are pouches as honestly some of the flavours that he has are way better that what I would think to cook myself.

One of our favourite baby food brands that you may have seen me share on my Instagram and Youtube is Piccolo; a Mediterranean inspired variety of scrumptious recipes that just beats the typical ‘ beef stew’ and ‘chicken dinner’ hands down. Piccolo pouches are wholesome, healthy and packed full of goodness and I always feel content that I’ve given Jenson the best quality meal whenever I use them.

What I love as well is that Jasper also enjoys the pouches; he sees them as a fun snack and often goes into Jenson’s cupboard to have one between meals or to pop in my bag for when we’re out and about. He’s great with his fruit and veg anyway but I love that he sees a truly healthy pouch as fun; it’s such a relief as a muma!

I was so excited when I recently received an email asking if I’d like a visit from nutritional therapist and co-founder of Piccolo – Alice, to share with me some fantastic finger food recipes. I of course jumped at the chance, I mean what Muma wouldn’t want a private cooking class to learn the best of the best for their bambinos?

Well after a quick blitz of the kitchen I welcomed the lovely Alice and her teammate Nana to our kitchen as well as my lovely chummy Sarah and Lachlan who joined us for the Piccolo Pop In session.

Alice and Nana brought along everything that we’d need to make a whole bunch of healthy and scrumptious snacks, so with our babies boys in tow we got to baking! (The first picture below is just after Jenson grabbed the parma ham out of my cupcake tray and slapped it around in the air haha!).

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Each recipe was so quick and easy to follow which is perfect for a parent on the go! They also all included ingredients that were not only inexpensive but you’d find in your cupboards and fridge already which is wonderful as there’s nothing worse than finding a scrumptious recipe and then realising you don’t have any of the specialist health store seeds that cost £30 a sachet!

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How wonderful does this array of goodness look? If this isn’t the best baby feast I’m not sure what is! There was just such a range of flavours, colours, tastes and textures and it was such a wonderful feeling to know that we’d prepared everything from scratch and knew exactly what was going into each dish.

Here’s what we made:

Egg breakfast cups – serves 10

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 slices of parma ham, wafer thin ham or turkey
  • Some chopped spinach, baby tomatoes, parsley and sweetcorn. You could also use mushrooms, spring onion etc

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Generously grease a muffin tin with sunflower or olive oil and place the ham slices into the inserts to form cups – make sure that each cup is lined with no gaps. Pop some of the chopped veg into each cup and fill with the beaten egg. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

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Courgette Pizza – makes 2

  • 2 corn or whole wheat tortillas. You could also use flatbreads
  • 2 tablespoons of passata
  • Around 50g of roughly chopped mixed veg e.g. tomatoes, sweetcorn, spinach, grated courgette, peppers
  • 20g of grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Spread the passata onto the tortilla or flatbread; add the chopped vegetables and grated cheese and pop in the oven for 8 minutes.

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Savoury Flapjacks – makes 20

  • 200g porridge oats
  • 200g grated carrot
  • 200g grated courgette
  • 200g grated cheese
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Grease a baking tray (swiss roll tin size), mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and press into the baking tray. Pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes. 

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Fresh Pea Hummus – makes 4 portions

  • 250g frozen garden peas or petit pois
  • Large handful of fresh coriander
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 small crushed clove of garlic
  • pinch of smoked paprika

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add the peas and cook for 3 minutes or until tender; drain and run under cold water. Add the peas, coriander, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and paprika to a food processor and pulse until you get the desired consistency. 

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I could not believe how simple those recipes were and yet how different and delicious they tasted. They really shook up our usual food routine and certainly gave me so much inspiration to get cooking again for my boys.

Lachlan absolutely loved all of the snacks and didn’t hesitate to tuck straight in! DSC07509DSC07514 DSC07541

Jenson surprised me by being a little hesitant; he kept touching the food then wiggling his fingers as though he wasn’t sure what to do but after a while he got stuck right in and got messy! He especially loved the flapjacks and ate the pea hummus by the spoonful!

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We had the best afternoon with Alice and Nana; it really was such a treat to learn all about Piccolo as a brand and to see their passion shine through in their recipes. I’ll certainly be giving these a go again soon as well as the Oaty Fingers, Dairy Free Banana Bread and Quick Start Blueberry Pancake recipes that they left with me! DSC07548 DSC07550 DSC07551

Something that also fascinated me was the Food Education Foundation which was founded by Alice and Cat from Piccolo. As a charity they work alongside the NCT providing nutrition classes and workshops to help disadvantaged families in London to provide their children with a healthy start to life. They’re passionate about introducing healthy foods to babies which will enable them to grow up and make healthy food choices as children and adults to really work against childhood obesity and associated illnesses such as diabetes. 10 % of all profits from Piccolo goes towards food education and I think that this is just wonderful; it really emphasises their passion to nurture our babies and made me feel so happy to be able to work with them.

If you’d like to check out more of their amazing recipes, see where you can buy their scrummy pouches or learn more about the Food Education Foundation then head over to www.mylittlepiccolo.com

Thanks for reading,

Jess x